The Tampa Bay Rays have traded for Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to hopefully upgrade the middle of their defense for their postseason push.
Though he has only played in 20 games this season, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is a valued commodity in the middle of any good team’s infield. While he has spent the last five years in South Beach with the Miami Marlins, he has been reportedly traded to the Tampa Bay Rays.
According to Marlins beat writer for the Miami Herald Clark Spencer, Hechavarria has been traded from the Marlins to the Rays for a pair of minor league prospects, right-handed pitcher Ethan Clark and outfielder Braxton Lee.
The reason for this trade is that Tampa Bay is still unsure when shortstop Matt Duffy will make his 2017 debut. Tampa Bay traded for the former San Francisco Giants third baseman in the Matt Moore deal last summer. Duffy was the primary piece coming Tampa Bay’s way, but suffered a ghastly heel injury in September 2016 that has kept him out ever since.
Tampa Bay finds itself in the midst of a heated division and wild card race in the American League East. The Rays are 40-38 through 78 games, are 2.5 games back of the division leading New York Yankees (40-33) and a game back of the second AL Wild Card team in the Cleveland Indians (39-35).
With the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays struggling this season, the Rays look to be in the mix for a postseason berth if they can hold steady in the second half. Adding Hechavarria’s defense and bat certainly helps in that regard.
Really what this trade means is that Tampa Bay doesn’t think Duffy will play this season. It could also indicate that Miami doesn’t think that it has a shot at making the postseason in the National League. The Marlins are 10.5 games back of the first-place Washington Nationals in the National League East and 11.0 games back of the Colorado Rockies for the second NL Wild Card spot.